Oh my.  Where do I even start with these daughters of mine?


They are living zest.  Spunk and zeal with a dress and a bow (the twirlier the better thank you very much).  Every moment is lived to the max.

They will absolutely let you know what they think, feel, like, want, need, and dislike any moment of the day.  Sometimes, they “forget” to use their manners.

In a word, these children are SASSY.  (said with jazz hands)

They wear me out with their tantrums and demands, floppy arms and spaghetti legs, picky palate and wild independence.  But then they throw their arms around my neck, eyes squeezed shut, and plant a gentle kiss on my cheek and I’m back.  Fuller than I ever imagined I could be.  These girls are my match, my karma (I may know a thing or two about sass myself…), and my pride.  They are the daughters I never dared to dream of.

I remember when my older daughter was 18 months old.  I joked with her daycare teachers that I was not cut out for a girl.  It was 8am and I was already exhausted from the 5 different battles we had forged over everything from outfit selection to brushing teeth to walking into the building.  Please tell me, I said to them, how do I raise a daughter who is strong, determined, independent, comfortable with her feelings and voices her opinions, but who also listens and always does what I ask her to?!

They laughed, and with understanding eyes they gave me the answer I knew I would get: you don’t.

Of course they were right.  Everything that’s driving me crazy right now is everything I want to raise them to be.

It is such a fine line, isn’t it?  Opinionated and strong-willed so often teeter-totters on the brink of rude and stubborn.  I want them to be well mannered, but I certainly don’t want them to be meek.  So that is the challenge I face in raising these girls so full of sass.  To keep the spark and fire. To stand up for themselves.  But to do it without throwing elbows.  And to be nice…most of the time.

I’m still not entirely sure I’m up to the challenge, but I’m honored to try.  I remind them daily to use their please’s and thank you’s and re-frame their sass into something a bit less ::ahem:: abrasive.  But mostly?  I hope they keep at it.

I hope they keep striving and voicing and running against the wind.  One day those “NO!”‘s, “I don’t want to!”‘s and “I’m doing it myself!”‘s will serve them well.



4 thoughts on “Sassafras

  1. Elise, thanks for this post. My daughter is more than sassy. We call her the DIVA. She is the most independent, determined, stubborn person I have ever met. But I love her for it. The down side is I’m always exhausted. Constantly, I’m working on my negotiation skills.

  2. So true. Sometimes raising my girls, Lovey in particular, is like looking in a mirror. Not always in a good way. But I want to raise strong, independent women who know what they want and how to get it so I trudge on. It’s worth it!

  3. I love that picture! I had a similar conversation with a co-worker a while back. Her daughter is very sassy (her words) and even though it’s been really challenging, she didn’t want to discourage it because she wants her to maintain that sense of self and independence as she grows up into an adult. Great post Elise!

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